Other albums followed, "Somewhere In Time,"
songs of World War II, "Hopes for the Holidays" with Bob,
"That's Love" and "Young at Heart" dedicated
As a five-year-old growing up in the Bronx, Dolores
DeFina knew she wanted to be a singer.
In the 1930s, Dolores on the advice of an agent, changed
her name to Dolores Reade (after Broadway actress Florence Reed)
and began her professional singing career on the New York night-club
It was after just such a performance at the Vogue Club in 1933 that
Dolores met a young actor/comedian who came with his friend George
Murphy to "hear a pretty girl sing." That young man was
As Bob told it, "She had a low, husky voice -
soft and sweet. She sang IT'S ONLY A PAPER MOON and DID YOU EVER
SEE A DREAM WALKING? That did it! From then on I was at the Vogue
Club every night, waiting to take Dolores home. A few months later
we tied the knot." There must have been something special in
that voice for the Hopes celebrated their 69th anniversary before
his death in July 2003.
Dolores soon left the supper club circuit to join
her husband in his vaudeville act. The couple toured the major stages
together until Dolores exchanged her professional singing career
for a role as mother, singing lullabies to her children. She also
kept in good voice entertaining friends at parties.
In the late 1940s Dolores returned to the stage when
she began helping her husband entertain U.S. troops around the world.
She became one of the most loved performers in the show. She sang
and the soldiers loved her. In Vietnam, Christmas 1966, there wasn't
a dry eye in the house when Dolores sang SILENT NIGHT. She sang
to a hushed audience and when she finished she was treated to thunderous
applause and a standing ovation.
Dolores continued to tour with Bob. One of their trips
was to Saudi Arabia in 1990 to entertain the troops in Operation
Desert Storm. She was the only female entertainer allowed to perform
in Saudi Arabia. Dolores has also made 18 guest appearances on Bob's
NBC television specials over the years.
Dolores attributes her recording career to the persistent
encouragement of friends like Rosemary Clooney and family, especially
husband Bob, who quiped, "I wish she'd get steady work."
With all her albums, Dolores provides her listeners
with a musical treat that spans the generations from the 1930s to
today. She combined a 30s style with today's technology to produce
a pop sound that is truly timeless. She drew from her extensive
musical background when selecting the songs. She particularly loved
the interplay and exchanges with the talented musicians at the recording
sessions. Nick Perito (Perry Como's gifted arranger/conductor) who
produced most of her albums, working with arrangers Bob Alberti,
John Oddo and long-time accompanist Geoff Clarkson, to ensure that
every note is perfect.
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